The Nutritional Footprint: An Innovative Management Approach For The Food Sector
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M. Lukas, A. Palzkill, H. Rohn & C. Liedtke
The food and nutrition sector accounts for huge environmental impacts caused by production, processing, final consumption and waste treatment in private households or in out of home catering settings. Further, the field of nutrition inextricably links environmental and health aspects to each other. Thus, the domain of nutrition has to be considered intensively if environmental aspects and health considerations should be further investigated. However, a healthy and environmentally friendly diet is a criterion which remains quite abstract to the consumer. Against this background, the following research question is addressed: \“How can environmental and health indicators be linked to each other?” For that reason a comprehensive concept is developed in this paper, the so-called nutritional footprint. The model is based on conceptual frameworks, such as the Hot Spot Analysis. Within a data assortment, relevant and available environmental data (e.g. material footprint or water consumption within the life cycle) is set in relation to available nutrition data (e.g. nutrient density or the classical calorie specifications). The paper shows that a nutritional footprint – as an assessment instrument – presents a way to communicate environmental and health issues together and provides a comprehensive and integrated perspective on quantitative and qualitative data. The concept developed in this paper is also available and useful for companies to expand their internal data and their external communication performance. Nonetheless, the current paper presents a first version on this concept, which has to be refined in cooperation with a leading fast food company in order to integrate the approach in their business. Keywords: food, consumption, environmentally-friendly diet, nutritional footprint, environmental indicators, integrated indicators.
Keywords: food, consumption, environmentally-friendly diet, nutritional footprint, environmental indicators, integrated indicators.